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Sweden May 2020: COVID-19 crisis deepens to -50.2%, Hyundai and Land Rover up

Hyundai Kona sales surge 92% in a market down -50.2%.

Sweden is the only European country to not have imposed any COVID-19 lockdown on its population over the past few months. As a result, infections and most strikingly deaths have continued to soar: from 4.435 and 180 respectively as of March 31 to 21.589 and 2.697 as of April 30 and 38.589 and 4.468 at the time of writing. The Swedish death rate is now 432 per million, below Belgium (822), the UK (586), Spain (576) and Italy (556) but above France (430), the Netherlands (342), the USA (319) or Brazil (212). Last month we predicted that this could mean the virus disruption may linger for longer than the rest of Europe, and we may already see this happening… Indeed the COVID-19 crisis is deepening for Swedish new car sales in May at -50.2% to 15.881 units and -25.8% so far this year to 100.938, compared to a European-best -37.5% drop in April and just -8.6% in March. If the May result may in part be due to stock shortages given international travel restrictions and factory closures, the next few months may also bear the brunt of an absence of tourism if neighbouring countries such as Denmark and Norway keep their borders closed to Sweden.

One piece of good news is the share of rechargeable cars which continues to grow exponentially at 21.6% vs. 9.1% in May 2019 thanks to sales up 18.2% to 3.424. Year-to-date, rechargeable cars now account for 25.9% of the Swedish market vs. 11.7% over the same period in 2019 thanks to registrations soaring 64.2% to 26.187. Sweden is now in third place in Europe based on rechargeable share below Norway and Iceland, but now above the Netherlands. In the brands ranking, Volvo (-59.3%) and Volkswagen (-51.1%) both lose share to 16% and 10.9% vs. 18.1% and 14% so far this year. Kia (-31.7%) cements the third place it holds YTD at just under 10% share for the month above Audi (-42.9%), Mercedes (-19.1%), Toyota (-52.4%) and BMW (-49.6%) all fitting within 61 sales. Seat (-36.8%) also beats the market in the remainder of the Top 10 while further down Hyundai (+2.4%) and Land Rover (+2.4%) post the only two year-on-year gains in the entire market.

Volvo dominates the models ranking and monopolises its home podium for the 5th time in the past 15 months with the S/V60 (-62.5%) cementing its YTD lead at 5.5% share above the S/V90 (-40.4%) and XC60 (-41.7%). The Kia Ceed (+6%) posts the only year-on-year gain in the Top 10 and shoots up 8 spots on April to land at #4, the nameplate’s highest ranking in almost 8 years, since hotting #3 in July 2012. The Kia Niro (-34.4%) is up 3 ranks on last month to make it two Kias in the Swedish Top 5 at #5, while the Toyota C-HR (-22.6%) breaks into the Top 10 for the very first time at #9. The Hyundai Kona (+92%), Mercedes CLA (+32.9%), GLC (+31.7%), VW T-Cross (+28.8%), BMW X3 (+23%), Seat Ibiza (+19.7%) and Audi A4 (+9.5%) also manage a gain in the Top 30.

Previous month: Sweden April 2020: Lockdown-free market down -37.5%, rechargeable cars up 38.7%

One year ago: Sweden May 2019: Volvo S/V60 tightens stranglehold on market down by double-digits for 11th straight month (-15.3%)

Full May 2020 Top 45 All-brands and Top 235 All-models below.

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